29-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2015 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Shortly after Venters began incorporating breaking pitches into his bullpen sessions in early May, he started feeling discomfort in his surgically-repaired left elbow. After several failed attempts to...
Jonny Venters Contract Information:
Agreed to a one-year, $1.625 million contract with the Braves in November of 2013, avoiding arbitration.
Venters (elbow) was released by the Braves on Friday.
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Jonny Venters Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Jonny Venters: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Venters suffered an elbow injury late in spring training, and when it did not get better with rest, the left-hander eventually opted for his second career Tommy John surgery in mid-May. He figures to miss most, if not all, of the first half of this season while recovering. While Venters has never had great command (4.3 career BB/9), he has overwhelming stuff (10.1 K/9), and should be able to contribute at some point in 2014 as long as he avoids a setback in his recovery.
Venters has been a workhorse for the Braves, pitching 229.2 innings in the last three years as the primary setup man for Craig Kimbrel. The heavy inning count may have caught up to him a bit last year as his ERA jumped to 3.22 in 2012 after two consecutive seasons below 2.00. Though he tends to walk a good number of batters, a career K/9 of over 10.0 has helped him get out of jams and strand 80 percent of runners on base. After early struggles, he finished the year with a 1.71 ERA in 26 games after coming off the disabled list on July 21. Be wary, the heavy workload and previous arm issues do make him a candidate for future injuries. Venters does come with the added value of likely being next in line for save opportunities if anything happens to Kimbrel.
Venters had another outstanding season in a setup role, proving his rookie season was no fluke. He slightly improved his strikeout rate to 10.4 K/9IP and saved five games when closer Craig Kimbrel wasn't available. Venters had a 94 mpg average fastball and keeps the ball in the park as he's allowed just three home runs in the past two seasons. About the only worry is his workload as he led the NL in relief appearances last season with 83 after 79 the season before. He'll enter the season as Atlanta's primary setup man and will get the occasional save when Kimbrel needs a day off.
Venters looked like an odd addition to the 40-man roster last winter as he's had mediocre strikeout rates in his minor league career despite a mid-90s fastball. A strong spring training saw him get called up early in the season and he suddenly became a dominate reliever by averaging just over 10.0 K/9IP with good control. By the stretch run, Venters was being used in high-leverage situations late in games. Entering 2011, he's potentially a part of the Braves' ninth-inning solution following the retirement of Billy Wagner.